874.50/8–2447: Telegram

The Acting Representative in Bulgaria (Horner) to the Secretary of State


732. In course of discussion with Provisional President Kolarov August 22, he was vehement over what he termed United States failure to accord economic aid to poor little Bulgaria. He stated that virtually every other European country had received assistance. In Bulgaria heroic workers striving implement two-year economic plan, slaving outside their normal working hours to keep antiquated machinery going. Replying, I mentioned that economic aid had been based largely upon relative need and furthermore our primary obligation was toward countries which through their resistance to German aggression had suffered devastation. Kolarov triumphantly referred to Austria which he said had furnished many thousands of soldiers to German army. I said Austria had been recognized by Big Three powers as victim of German aggression whereas Bulgaria took initiative in declaring war.

I then suggested to Kolarov that if Bulgaria was in such dire economic needs he might have been well advised to accept Anglo-French invitation to participate in Paris talks on European reconstruction.1 His answer was that for many years Bulgaria had been an agricultural satrapy of Germany. Now Bulgaria had formulated her own economic plan designed to create an effective industry. By going to Paris her plan would have been subject to scrutiny of larger western powers who in their own selfish interests might have forced its modification. I could only answer that it was well known Anglo-French invitation was free from any commitments, that Bulgaria could easily have withdrawn should, as seemed highly unlikely, any unacceptable conditions have been proposed and that by declining invitation Bulgaria had contributed to economic division of Europe.

  1. For documentation on the invitation under reference here, see volume iii : The political and economic crisis in Europe and the United States response (The Marshall Plan), Chapter ii.